Disney Food Pics of the Week: Coffee!

Aaaaaahhhh…Coffee. Some of us simply can’t get the old motor cranking in the morning without it! And there have been some changes to the coffee world in Disney parks these days!

We thought it would be fun to show off some of the pictures that YOU have captured of java in our regular feature, Disney Food Pics of the Week. Thanks to those readers who shared with us a little of their Disney trip by posting on Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group!

If you’d like to get in on the fun, head over to Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza on Flickr and join the group. We’d love to see even more of your great food shots! Let’s see what you’ve found!

Iced Pumpkin Spiced Latte at Main Street Bakery

The real victory for many coffee lovers at Disney parks has been the opening of Starbucks in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The first location opened at Walt Disney World transformed fan favorite Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom to a mix of part bakery, part retro coffee shop.

While reviews have been a somewhat mixed, many guests are super happy to stroll down Main Street USA with their favorite Seasonal Iced Latte in hand!

Photographer: ernobrn0918

Pumpkin Spice Latte from Main Street Bakery

Vacuum Pot Coffee at Victoria & Albert’s

But then, if you are looking for the most prestigious pot of coffee anywhere in all of Walt Disney World…well, you just knew it would be Victoria & Albert’s that delivered, right?

This is coffee as theater, my friends, and it’s just as dramatic and delicious as it looks.

Photographer: Spikey1967

Cona Vacuum Pot from Victoria and Albert's

Press Pot Coffee From Kouzzina

Kouzzina is Chef Cat Cora’s Greek-leaning restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. In relatively short order, this [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland Review: The Market House Reopens as Starbucks!

In “better late than never news” (sorry, I’ve completely lagged on this post), The Market House on Disneyland’s Main Street USA has reopened as Starbucks — and it’s gorgeous!

Market House on Main Street USA

The Market House is the second Starbucks location to open at the Disneyland Resort, following the one inside of Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe.  A third is currently being built in Downtown Disney.

In my opinion, Disney has done a fantastic job at imagineering the themes of Starbucks to fit right in with the resort.  Overall, the Market House has kept much of its quaint decor, but it’s been updated with a larger queue area and more seating.

Market House Starbucks in Disneyland

When you walk up to the Market House, you will notice that the Starbucks signage is very subtle.  In fact some of the windows don’t even have a Starbucks logo.

Market House Window

The windows that do have Starbucks signage are more vintage looking; not the typical obvious green logo that we are used to seeing on every corner.  The window below is near the main entrance of Market House.

Starbucks Logo on the Window of Market House

There are still two entrances to Market House. Below is the back entrance which is also the main exit.  You can see that the Starbucks themeing here, printed coffee [Read more…]

Review: Iced Coffee at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Today, we’re stopping by Isle of Java at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a quick caffeine jolt!

You’ll find this little kiosk once you meander through the Discovery Island Oasis exhibits in the middle of the park. It’s stationed just outside of Disney Outfitters.

Isle of Java

A peek at the menu here actually turns up some really interesting options! You can, for instance, have an Island Cappuccino, which features white chocolate — and Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum! Note to self: remember this. :-)

But the real news here are some of the pastry options on the menu — especially the Cotton Top Tamarin Cupcake!

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

This is one of my fa-vor-ite cupcakes in Animal Kingdom (next to the Elephant cupcake, of course)!

Cotton Top Tamarin Cupcake

They also had a few other goodies, like freshly baked cookies and the Turtle Brownie!

Pastries

Turtle Brownie at Disney's Animal Kingdom

But plain and simple, I was hot and needed a little jolt of java. So I went with [Read more…]

Review: Writer’s Stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Dude. If you haven’t been to Writer’s Stop, YOU. MUST. GO.

Seriously, Writer’s Stop remains one of my favorite spots in all of Walt Disney World. Even though they’ve re-vamped the place since I initially fell in love with it (and got rid of my favorite little window seat in favor of a coffee flavoring station…hmph…), the charm of this place is not matched in any other Disney coffee joint.

Tucked into a corner of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this little bookstore-slash-coffee shop has been around since the 1990s. It’s so cozy — and often uncrowded — so when I stop in I always feel a little bit more like I “live” at Disney World. :-)

I’m pretty sure this is going to be the spot where Starbucks infiltrates Hollywood Studios (no official information, of course — just my personal prophecy), so if you’re going to check it out in its initial incarnation, I suggest you head over there ASAP… .

Writer's Stop -- Outside

Atmosphere

If you don’t pay attention, you could easily think that Writer’s Stop is just a clever bit of scenery amid the other storefronts at Studios. Especially since it sits right next to the Streets of America backlot area. But the rolls of film and vintage percolators in the windoe herald a real, honest-to-goodness coffee and bookshop.

Step inside, and you’ll recognize the themeing immediately. The little storefront gives the impression that it’s a hangout for writers situated in the corner of a studio. A makeshift counter has been fashioned out of crates, and studio equipment adorns the walls.

Writer's Stop -- Inside

Writer’s Stop actually began as a play on the set of Buy the Book, the fictional bookstore in the sitcom Ellen, which starred Ellen DeGeneres and aired during the nineties (thus the studio lights up above). When the series went by the wayside, Buy the Book morphed into Writer’s Stop — and gained a happy place in the hearts of Disney fans.

Be sure to take a slow look around Writer’s Stop. First off, they really [Read more…]

From Coffee to Margaritas: The Transformation of Disney World’s BoardWalk Joe’s!

Disney is always making headlines for their big changes.

The Slow Transformation of Boardwalk Joe's from Coffee to Margaritas

Park updates like MyMagic+, Disneyland’s Cars Land, Disney World’s New Fantasyland get tons of exposure, as they should.

But I think it’s always interesting to look at the not-so-publicized changes that happen without fanfare, too.

A case in point is a little kiosk called BoardWalk Joe’s, located across from Cat Cora’s Kouzzina on the Disney World BoardWalk.

Over the last few years, Disney World has really changed its tune at this spot, transforming it from a coffee stop to a margarita place! Let’s take a look… .

It’s easy to feel nostalgic while strolling the boardwalk where BoardWalk Joe’s once specialized in coffee — we even wrote a whole post that highlighted it!

Boardwalk Joe's was all about coffee!

But a couple of  years ago, Joe’s added some specialty seasonal items, like this Caramel Apple Margarita! This was the first sign of BoardWalk Joe’s transformation…

Caramel Apple Margarita!

And the Frozen Grapefruit Margarita made a seasonal appearance last summer.

Grapefruit Margarita!

Over a couple of years, we kept seeing more and more “specialty” items via this [Read more…]

News! Joffrey’s Coffee Named As Official Disney Coffee Provider


According to the Orlando Business Journal, Disney has partnered with Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co. as the official specialty coffee provider for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Vacation Club resorts.

Disney’s announcement that it has developed an alliance with the Tampa-based Joffrey’s company is great news for guests that have been less than delighted with the Nescafe offerings at the Disney parks and resorts.

(This announcement does not affect the presence of Starbucks coffee locations that will be arriving in six spots throughout Disney World and Disneyland over the next few years.)

Since 1995, Joffrey’s has operated kiosks that serve their coffee brand throughout Walt Disney World. Now, the brand will be present at select Disney restaurants, resort hotels, quick-service restaurants, and as self-service options in hotel rooms.

Transportation and Ticket Center Joffrey

“We are thrilled to be creating unique coffee blends exclusively for Disney guests,” said Chris de Mezzo, Joffrey’s roastmaster and chief operating officer, in a prepared statement. “After all, a Disney vacation is like [Read more…]

Review: Victoria and Albert’s Chef’s Table at the Grand Floridian Resort

Today, we travel up the elegant stairway to the pinnacle of fine dining at Walt Disney World, Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Join me for an unparalleled experience as I take you behind the opulence to the excitement and camaraderie of the Chef’s Table! And let me tell you… it’s AWESOME!!

Victoria and Albert’s is the crown jewel in Disney’s culinary offerings. And while it is certainly expensive (that might be an understatement), I aim to show you that for the true food lover, the Chef’s Table experience is worth every penny.

By the way, if you read through this review and decide the Chef’s Table is not for you, you can also dine in the Dining Room to the more intimate Queen Victoria Room.

Victoria and Albert's Plate

Reservations for Victoria and Albert’s go quickly. It is recommended that you book as close to 180 days out as possible. As for cost, the menu is prix fixe, meaning that you pay a set price for the meal. Expect your meal to begin at $135 per person for the Dining Room, with an additional charge of $65 for wine pairings. That price includes six courses. Queen Victoria’s Room and the Chef’s Table menus may include up to thirteen courses, and prices start at $210/person for dinner and $105 for wine pairings. Keep in mind that these prices do not reflect tax or gratuity, so be prepared.

While Queen Victoria’s Room offers the height of elegant dining, the Chef’s Table provides interested guests full access to the restaurant’s culinary team in a meal that is as much performance as it is sustenance.

Atmosphere

Once you check in for your reservation at the Chef’s Table, you are escorted through the well appointed (and very quiet!) main dining room. You’ll notice low light, beautiful fresh flowers, and the strains of harp music. The whole effect is quite romantic and very formal. There is a strict dress code here, and men must wear jackets.

Victoria and Albert's Main Dining Room

The Dining Room consists of a mere fourteen tables, beautifully set with spotless crystal and china. Very chi chi.

Victoria and Albert's Seating

We followed the debonaire Maître d’hôtel, Israel Perez, through this space and into the brightly lit kitchen. At that time, we were informed that Chef de Cuisine Scott Hunnel would not be joining us because of a conflicting event. In his place, Sous Chef Aimée Rivera would guide us through our meal.

Maître d'hôtel Israel Perez and Chef Rivera

Both Mr. Perez and Chef Rivera were phenomenal, and it’s clear that their passion and driving force is the comfort and enjoyment of their guests. Chef Rivera invited us to interact at will with the kitchen staff, and suggested that we voice any and all questions that we might have (Mua ha ha ha!!! She didn’t know just how annoying I can be!).

An interesting fact: once you are seated, you can’t [Read more…]

Tip from the DFB Guide: Are Disney Refillable Mugs Worth the Cost?

We’ve packed tons of great Disney Dining info into our The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013! Today, let’s check out another great tip from the Guide!

Disney Refillable Mugs: Worth the Cost?

With another price hike last year, Disney refillable resort mugs at Disney World resorts now cost $15.49 plus tax.

Those with the Disney Dining Plan get theirs for free, but the rest of us would need to pay out of pocket for the mugs, which are infinitely refillable at certain locations within your resort during your length of stay.

Worth it? Well… yes and no. We’ve got both arguments represented below, so take a look to see which camp you fit into!

Are Disney World Refillable Mugs Worth the Cost

Refillable Mugs And Park Commandos

If you spend the majority of your time at the parks, the refillable mug may not be worth the out-of-pocket cost for your family. Consider these circumstances before you buy:

Use Times

If your family is full of park commandos, you’re probably racing out to each theme park opening in the early morning and returning to your resort shortly before the food court closes. Your refillable mug will spend more time sitting in your resort room than actually in use, since you can’t refill in the theme parks.

Distance to refill station can be far

After traipsing with the kids in the parks all day, it may be a lot of extra steps from your room to the mug refill station.

And remember, many resorts don’t have an option for refills after the counter-service spots close around 11pm or midnight. That means no refills after evening Extra Magic Hours in most parks.

Current Refillable Mug Information (BoardWalk)

Could save cash by buying offsite

If you’ve driven to the Mouse’s House from your hometown, or rented a vehicle once you landed in Orlando, you may want to stop at a nearby offsite store to pick up [Read more…]

Review: NEW Tipsy Duck Drink in Epcot’s China Pavilion

There’s a new drink at the Joy of Tea stand in Epcot’s China Pavilion – Tipsy Ducks in Love!

Joy of Tea

The cast members at Joy of Tea were selling this VERY enthusiastically. It’s basically iced coffee and tea, plus whipped cream, plus a generous pour of Jim Beam, plus chocolate.

Tipsy Duck

I don’t normally drink bourbon, but the cast members were so, well, enthusiastic about it, that I decided to give it a [Read more…]

First Look! Food Photos From Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Update: Check out the discreet integration of Starbucks into Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe.

We’ve had a great time sharing sneak peeks of many of the new dining locations opening soon in Disney California Adventure! Be sure to check out the great menu options at Flo’s V-8 Cafe, Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel, Carthay Circle Restaurant, Trolley Treats, and Clarabelle’s Ice Cream!

And one more of the places on Buena Vista Street I am really looking forward to is the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe. Why? Because Disney California Adventure NEEDS a good counter service spot where one can grab a great sandwich and a STARBUCKS beverage

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe

At a recent media preview I was able to check out some of the items that will be served at the Cafe, and it looks like there will be some pretty tasty options…

Menu

I got some great photos of the dishes that will be served here at the Fiddler. The first thing I noticed about the menu, though, was that the items appeared to be very similar to what is being served over in Disneyland at the Jolly Holiday Bakery

This is not a bad thing by any means; Jolly Holiday is fantastic! Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical will be serving a wide variety eats:

  • Breakfast: Freshly baked pastries & cinnamon rolls, breakfast sandwiches and wraps
  • Lunch and Dinner: Hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and two daily soups

A Sampler of Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe Offerings

I don’t have the “official” names of the sandwiches pictured below, but some appear to be identical to [Read more…]